Authoritarian v. Non-Authoritarian Educational Theories

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Authoritarian theories of education include Perennialism, Essentialism, Behaviorism, and Positivism. These authoritarian theories each are their own distinct whole they are all rooted in the assumption that the person whom is in authority is the one with the best understanding and experience of that which is being taught. In this type of approach, the student's role is to try to attempt and follow the directions of the person in authority with the experience.

Perennialism is the basic view that the principle of knowledge lasts forever. It could almost be translated as "everlasting.  A perennialist views nature, human nature, and the basic principles of existence as constant, not changing very much. Perennialists tend to stress the importance of time-honored ideas, the great works of past and present thinkers, and the ability to reas

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